Teen-ager convicted of murder in Joliet shooting
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Tuesday (July 31) that a teen-ager who gunned down a Joliet man in an alley last year has been convicted of murder.
Vincent D. Johnson, 17, of 424 Kungs Way, faces a minimum of 45 years in prison and up to a term of natural life in prison for shooting DeJuan Rimmer to death on Joliet’s East Side on May 20, 2006. Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced before Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak on Oct. 15.
At the conclusion of a bench trial, Rozak found Johnson guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm. Johnson was 15 at the time of the murder. Illinois law required the state’s attorney’s office to prosecute Johnson as an adult.
Rimmer was one of three individuals who approached Johnson in an alley on the day of the shooting. One of those individuals had been beaten up by Johnson the prior day and had called Johnson out for a one-on-one fistfight in the alley. But the youth backed away and fled the alley with one of his companions after Johnson displayed a handgun that was tucked in his waist band.
Johnson followed the two youths out of the alley, fired at them, but missed. He then turned and fired at Rimmer, who had stayed behind in the alley. Rimmer took a bullet that passed through his left arm and pierced his heart. He died a short time later.
“Vincent Johnson is a cowardly thug who gunned down an unarmed man,” Glasgow said. “He will go to prison for a minimum of 45 years for this vicious murder.”
Three witnesses saw Johnson fire down the alley in Rimmer’s direction. One of those witnesses was shot multiple times after he was served with a subpoena to testify at Johnson’s trial. That witness survived the shooting but was required to undergo three surgeries. His testimony was crucial in securing Johnson’s conviction.
Glasgow also credited Assistant State’s Attorneys John Connor, Dant Foulk and Jim Long for successfully prosecuting Johnson and for securing truthful testimony from a frightened witness. And he praised the Joliet Police Department for conducting a thorough investigation.
“Professional cooperation between seasoned Joliet police officers and these skillful trial attorneys has taken a dangerous killer off of our streets,” Glasgow said.